Wood feels that everyone can benefit from having a dog in his or her life, but she advises against getting one simply to find a date.
"There are cheaper ways to attract a mate," she said. "Not every person should have a dog."
Dogs can be expensive, and Wood explains how the cost of a pet could be used elsewhere, if you really aren't interested in investing time and energy into a pet.
"If a person recently lost a job, is in the process of moving or their past dog passed away," said Wood, it also may not be a good time to get a dog.
But people who want to make an impression without the commitment can consider online dating or dog-sitting for a weekend.
Let Your Dog Do The Talking
Dogs can also help once you've met someone new. What should you do if your trusty companion is less than thrilled with your new date?
"Dogs have a sense of individuals that is more keen than ours is," said Wood. "Your dog could be trying to tell you something."
Another possible option is that your dog is reacting because you have been spending less time with him or her. Make sure to involve your dog with your new date. Allow him or her to offer treats, belly rubs and the other wonderful things that make your canine friend happy.
Sometimes all that time and energy just doesn't build a bond between your dog and your date.
"I'd pay attention to a dog's dislike of person," said Wood.
Your Dog As 'Date Bait'
While a pooch may be great for pickups, some dog breeds scare people, no matter what the disposition of the individual dog.
"If you have a big, scary-looking dog, have your dog wear a bandana," said Wood. "Or have them carry a toy on your walk; it can soften their appearance."
Other dogs are often considered irritating by people. However, you can prove them wrong.
"A well-behaved dog, no matter the size, cannot irritate an individual," said Wood. "Training is essential."
The book "A Dog Lover's Guide To Dating" offers the five best and worst "date bait breeds:
- Golden retrievers, Labradors -- friendly, nonthreatening dogs
- Papillions -- pleasant-acting, mild-mannered dogs
- Scruffy terrier-mixes -- extra points for you if he had a sad life before you
- Collies -- especially popular for those who remember Lassie
- Afghans -- their unusual appearance can get comments, compliments
- Pit bulls -- Some people will cross the street before meeting this dog
- Rottweilers -- Same as pit bulls
- Yapping little dogs -- quick to irritate and annoy
- Dogs with elaborate hairdos -- these dogs make owners look high-maintenance
- Chinese crested -- this breed is unusual, but not in a good way
What Does It All Mean?
"The bottom line is that love attracts love," said Wood. "If you love your dog and have a great relationship with them, people will respond to that," she said.
And if you don't meet anyone while walking, playing and interacting with your dog, you haven't lost a thing.
"The worst that can happen is that you have a great relationship with your dog. If you don't meet anyone, at least you've had a great time," said Wood.